UK parties to try to trigger Dec election

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proposed holding an election on December 12 and needs two thirds of the 650 lawmakers in parliament to back his plan in a vote on Monday.

In this proposal, the United Kingdom would be granted a new delay of three months, but with the possibility to leave earlier if a Brexit deal is concluded before 31 January.

"The period provided for in article 50 (3) TEU as extended by the European council decision (EU) 2019/584 is hereby further extended until 31 January 2020", the draft agreement says.

European Union ambassadors have reportedly agreed an extension is needed, and a diplomat said the length of the delay will be decided next week.

The EU has agreed to a request for a Brexit deadline extension but set no new departure date, giving Britain's divided parliament time to decide whether to hold a snap election.

Those comments followed Johnson's decision Thursday to push for an early election to break the stalemate in Parliament that has blocked a Brexit deal.

But the chances of enough MPs backing the motion - which requires the support of two-thirds of the House of Commons - appear uncertain, with Labour not committing to how it plans to vote.

The Sunday Times reported that its latest tracking, based on results by five of the top polling organizations, suggests the Conservatives will emerge as the biggest party in a general election.

Members of Johnson's government dismissed the SNP-Lib Dem idea as a "gimmick" and a "stunt".

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"We're hoping it will be smooth", an European Union official said on Monday.

I think it is quite obvious that no one thought that the whole Brexit process would be so hard and there would have been so many issues to take into account from Northern Ireland to tarrifs and taxes.

The decision is a blow to the Prime Minister, who has said in the past he would prefer to be "dead in a ditch" than miss the October 31 deadline.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has adopted a "wait-and-see" approach to proceedings, with a view to removing the potential for a 'no-deal Brexit'.

It had no immediate response to Johnson's statement on Thursday.

The party is working with the Liberal Democrats to bring forward a one-line bill which would circumvent the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act and set the date on an early election to December 9.

MPs will vote on Monday on whether to support the Prime Minister's election plans.

One EU diplomat told Reuters that France pressed the other 26 EU members to wait and favoured a delay until 15 or 30 November to keep pressure on the British parliament to approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal or face a disorderly Brexit.

"There will most likely be an agreement on Monday morning between the 27 on extension until January 31", said a source close to French President Emmanuel Macron.

  • Sonia Alvarado